National award winning director Srijit Mukherji’s latest film, Rajkahini, which has already made it to top five film festivals of India (Mumbai, Goa, Kerala, Kochi, Delhi), is all set for the Hindi remake, with the target of reaching international audiences.
This film will be set in the western border between India and Pakistan, where the exodus as a result of the Partition was far more gruesome than the sporadic rioting that happened on the Eastern Front with Bangladesh.
“It is almost a new film. I expect it to be more complex and traumatic in tenor. The shooting will begin early 2016”, Srijit Mukherji told Millennium Post.
Mukherji, who grew up watching Bollywood films like Garam Hawa, Mirch Masala and Mandi, portrays the India that was–the religious divide between the Hindus and Muslims, the caste differences and the oppression inherent in a riot-torn society.
“The line that divides Bengal was drawn by the British rather callously based on a Census that was outdated(1941) and based on religious differences. The whorehouse—housing 11 women—which falls on the border is the symbol of resistance in my film and symbolizes the protest against the oppressiveness of the times and the emotions that the Partition evokes”, said Mukherji.
In 1947 August, the British passed a bill regarding the partition of Bengal.
The plot of the film revolves around how Begum Jaan, the owner of the whorehouse, along with her army of whores, resists the effort of both the newly formed Governments of India and Pakistan to raze down their house to build a border of barbed wires. She fights till her death for the cause.
Delving into the grim history of the Partition of Bengal, Mukherji admits that Rajkahini has been his most challenging film till date.
Shot and readied in seven months flat, Mukherji admits to have been stylistically influenced by great directors like Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani, Steven Spielberg, David Lean and Richard Attenborough.
The Hindi remake will be produced by Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt as well as Shree Venkatesh Films, which produced Rajkahini.
The Hindi remake will sport a new cast, said Mukherji. The Bengali film features actors like Rituparna Sengupta, Jisshu Sengupta, Saswata Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen among others.
“Rajkahini has been my most challenging film till date”, sums up the ace director, who is already at work on his next flick, based on the Kolkata underworld. The Bengali Rajkahini was released nationally on Friday in Delhi, Mumbai, Bihar, Jharkhand, Mysore and Odisha.